Phil Miller, legendary guitarist of the Canterbury 70s prog scene, died yesterday after a prolonged struggle, at 68. Miller was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire. He was a member of Delivery, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Short Wave (with Hugh Hopper, Pip Pyle and Didier Malherbe) and then was engaged in solo projects and his band In Cahoots, which he founded in 1982 with Richard Sinclair, Elton Dean, Pete Lemer and Pip Pyle. In 2005 and 2006, Miller toured with the re-united Hatfield and the North.
Ηe was a self-taught musician and his style was unique. Ηe started to play guitar at the age of 15 influenced by the great blues guitarists of the 50’s, but during the 60’s he discovered rock and jazz, which he integrated into his playing. Miller was educated at Lexton School (near Corby), then Cambridge Technical College.
Robert Wyatt : “Phil Miller would rather play a wrong note than a note that somebody else had ever played”.
Dave Stewart: “Journalists have always tended to describe Phil’s playing in terms of restraint, lack of ego, tastefulness, etc. This hardly does it justice. His ambition is actually to hypnotise the audience into a state of utter submission by means of a system of complex, secretive and often terrifying facial grimaces that he has perfected”.